This summer, festival goers will be able to test their drugs at an on-site lab ran by The Loop, an award winning drugs, alcohol and sexual health Non-Governmental Organisation.
The lab checks drugs for purity and checks for any gross or lethal ingredients, helping to ensure that a weekend of freedom and fun won’t end up with you in the mortuary.
Sadly, there have been several drug-related deaths at UK festivals over the past few years.
They perhaps could have been prevented if there had been access to a no-strings, non-shaming testing services such as The Loop labs.
— The Loop (@WeAreTheLoopUK) July 20, 2017
Those using cocaine or ecstasy will not get into any trouble with the police. This initiative is entirely about keeping people safe, protected and informed, and is not about discriminating or making assumptions.
According to director of The Loop Professor Fiona Measham:
We accept that some people will get drugs on site and some people will be planning to take them so what we’re doing is trying to address any potential health problems.
This is a focus on public health rather than on criminal justice.
— The Loop (@WeAreTheLoopUK) July 28, 2017
Those going to Kendall Calling this weekend can make full use of this fantastic service. Already, organisers have discovered some pretty nasty stuff in tested pills including malaria medication, insecticide and even concrete.
However, not everyone is happy about these pop-up labs and some people even believe that this initiative is ‘normalising’ drug use.
David Raynes, from the National Drug Prevention Alliance has made the following statement:
This normalises drug taking. Some people go to festivals for the first time and take drugs for the first time.
The drugs they take will not be drugs that have been tested because during the testing process the drugs get destroyed so there will be other drugs available to them.
Testing doesn’t make the drugs that people might take at a festival safe.
Outdated policy isn't effective. People will take recreational drugs at festivals regardless of its legality – why not save lives and test
— Calum (@CalumGShore) July 29, 2017
During festival season, we all lose some of our inhibitions and take risks which we wouldn’t normally consider. It’s really not worth the risk to take suspicious pills which could contain any number of harmful or even deadly materials.
Look after yourself, look after your mates and make sure to have an amazing and memorable time.
Jules studied English Literature with Creative Writing at Lancaster University before earning her masters in International Relations at Leiden University in The Netherlands (Hoi!). She then trained as a journalist through News Associates in Manchester. Jules has previously worked as a mental health blogger, copywriter and freelancer for various publications. When not Lad-ing about, she enjoys cooking, reading and trying not to fall over in Yoga.